Campus Repopulation and Updated BU Public Health Protocols
From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer,
Gary Nicksa, Senior Vice President for Operations,
and Dr. Judy Platt, Director of Student Health Services
As the data related to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to improve, leaders across the University have been formulating plans to repopulate our campuses over the next few months. We write today to share the highlights of our repopulation plan and important updates to the University’s public health protocols. Please review this information carefully; additional details and FAQs can be found on the Back2BU website: Working on Campus.
While we all look forward to enjoying fewer restrictions, we need to maintain our goal of fostering a safe living, learning, and working environment for all members of our community as our campuses reopen. Our guiding principles center on maintaining the multi-faceted approach to reduce viral transmission that served us well during the prior academic year, gradually repopulating our campuses, and continuing specific public health protocols that will be most effective for everyone to safely engage with each other.
Vaccination is an essential component for successful return to full campus activities. As President Brown recently outlined, all students are required to be vaccinated before the start of the fall semester, and all faculty and staff are required to disclose their vaccination status through their secure Occupational Health Connect portal by June 4. 2021, accessible via the Healthway website. If you are not already vaccinated, Boston University vaccine clinics are open for appointments and walk-in visits this week.
Gradual Repopulation Plan
On the Charles River Campus, we are planning for 50% occupancy – meaning spaces should hold half the number of people they are designed for – on June 14. Throughout the summer, increasing numbers of faculty and staff will return to campus, with a goal of reaching 100% occupancy by August 1. Classrooms are currently configured to accommodate 6-foot distancing; this configuration will remain throughout the summer but will not be in place for fall classes. Our Medical Campus will repopulate more quickly, with 100% occupancy by July 1.
Physical Distancing Policy – Updated Effective June 14
As of June 14, all physical distancing (6-foot distancing) requirements will be lifted on BU’s campuses. Physical distancing will no longer be required on any campus, either indoors or outdoors. Certain healthcare facilities may choose to continue physical distancing practices.
Masking Policy – Updated Effective June 1
Starting today, we will no longer require mask use outdoors on BU campuses regardless of vaccination status or ability to physically distance. The indoors mask requirement will not change at this time. Masks will still be required indoors in classrooms, offices, public common areas, the BU shuttle, and healthcare facilities. Masks will not be required in private offices, residence halls and apartments. Masks may be removed while eating in dining halls and lunch and break rooms and we encourage physical distancing whenever masks are removed.
Updated Campus Visitors Policy
With the warmer weather, we expect to see more visitors to campus, including prospective and admitted students and their families. Please review the Campus Visitors Policy which has been updated for summer to accommodate visitors. All visitors are expected to comply with the safety protocols and guidelines established by the University.
Community Testing and Attestation – No Changes for Summer
Throughout the summer, we will continue the community testing program without any changes. As faculty and staff return to campus, their managers will update their testing categories accordingly. Faculty, staff, and student green badging will still be required at the test collection sites and at a variety of locations on campus, including but not limited to the dining halls, FitRec, the GSU, and the Howard Thurman Center. If you will be on campus, be sure to fill out your daily attestation.
Please join us for the livestreamed Town Meeting for faculty and staff on Wednesday, June 2, at 10 am for more information about our efforts to safely repopulate our campuses.